Doctoral Loans | AECC University College

Doctoral Loans

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Financial assistance is available to support you in undertaking doctoral studies.

Doctoral loans are available from Student Finance England (up to £29,390 available for courses starting on or after 1 August 2024) or Student Finance Wales (up to £28,395 available for course which have started on or after 1 August 2023). You can choose how much you borrow, and what you use it for e.g., PhD fees, research expenses, maintenance, and other costs.


The loan is not means tested or based on household income. There is certain criteria you must meet to be able to apply for a doctoral loan. You can apply for a loan if you are a UK national and:

  • You’ve lived in the UK for at least three years
  • You are a resident in England or Wales (not just a resident for study)
  • You will be 59 years old or under on the first academic year of your doctorate
  • You don’t already have a doctorate
  • Your PhD will not be funded by UKRI, and you haven’t been funded by a Research Council in the past
  • Your PhD won’t be funded by any other UK public funding
  • Your doctorate isn’t eligible for NHS funding

Doctorate loans aren’t normally available for students from the EU or international students. However, some exceptions apply. See here for further information. The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) can also has advice regarding eligibility.

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Course eligibility

Doctoral loans are available for all types of doctorate in any subject, with the exception of a PhD by publication as it does not include a programme of research and / or study).

UK students can study at any UK university, and can study full or part-time between 3-8 years.

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Application process

You will apply to Student Finance England (if studying in England) or Student Finance Wales (if studying in Wales). Applications must be submitted within nine months of the first day of the final academic year of your doctorate.

See the website for more information on applying for a doctorate loan.

Loan Payments

The total amount you choose to borrow is paid directly into your bank account in equal instalments, three times per academic year of study, but you can’t receive more than £12,167 in any one year. The timing of loan payments is based on your intended submission date. That means if your submission date is delayed, your loan payments may have finished before you submit your thesis.


Doctoral loan repayments will only start when you are earning over £21,000 a year. You will repay only 6% of what you earn over £21,000.

Further information can be found at the following links:
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Explore how you can fund your studies with us, from student loans, bursaries and scholarships and advice on living costs.

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